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You will use this hands-on activity to help middle school students learn how space weather results from solar activity that creates ever-changing conditions in space. Magnetic energy drives the sun’s activity. Students will explore how scientists monitor solar activity and how the sun's magnetic field impacts Earth's living and technological systems.

You will share printed or projected images taken from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and discuss solar activity with students. Then you will engage students with the Magnetic Field Mapping Mission. During the mission, students will work in teams using magnets to create a magnetic field map and compare their magnetic field maps to those of the Earth and the sun.

In the media carousel above you will also find:

  • tutorial video of the Magnetic Field Mission
  • images to print or project from the SDO
  • a link to additional images from the SDO
  • the "Build the Future" introductory video to be shown to students at the beginning of your presentation
  • a PowerPoint presentation that highlights the many different types of engineers
To prepare for your classroom visit, about two weeks in advance, review the information in the Engineer Guide and the materials provided for this activity.